Find out what you had to say about Question Time on Thursday, 29 September, 2005, from Brighton.
The topics discussed were:
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
Audience question: If I disagree with one of tonight's panellists and let them know with a loud "nonsense", should I be ejected by security?
It concerns me gravely, that restrained protest and heckling at party conferences has now become such a crime that it warrants arrest. This is, in my humble opinion, more damaging to the British way of life than a thousand terrorist bombings. It is time for the British people to stand up against the degradation of our political system and demand the government that our history has bequeathed us.
Phil, Isle of Man
What a load of rubbish from Patricia! Surely the minders had training? She is part of the government & surely knows what is going on? If not what sort of government do we have? The mind boggles! If they did not have training for such an important task, it must reflect on the government's attitude to everything! - muddle through, it will work out in the end & surprise, surprise it does not!! The sooner we have them out the better for all and this country.
D. Tudor Greaves, Porthcawl
Text: Rubbish! Now come and arrest me!
Why isn't the steward that ejected Mr Wolfgang from the Labour Party conference facing criminal charges?
Jon Jones, Sheppey, Kent
Text: Free speech under Blair? Be very afraid.
The ejection of an 83-year-old from the Labour Party conference was a disgrace. The police yet again abuse the law using anti-terror legislation to prevent his re-entry to the conference. Why give the police more power when all they do is abuse it?
Dave Chamberlain, Westgate on Sea
Text: Where did they get those stewards? Rent-a-mob.
Text: Jack Straw should have been thrown out for talking nonsense.
Ann Marie, Airdrie
I thoroughly support the actions of the stewards at the Labour conference. Any dissent from party members should not be tolerated under any circumstance. The country needs strong leadership from top to bottom.
Matt Ternant Strong, Manchester
Anti-terror legislation has been used numerous times against peaceful protestors over the last few years. Where is the politicians' outrage when this happens?
David Jones, Surrey
Blair should carry the can for the actions of party-appointed volunteers and resign. He was virtually laughing this morning on BBC Breakfast news when he apologised. For that reason alone he should resign. He clearly either didn't take it seriously or was doing his utmost to appear sincere and failing completely.
Stephen King, Chester
Text: The poor chap had to heckle, it's all so stage-managed now.
The brutish ejection of the heckler and his subsequent arrest under the Terrorism Act suggests to me that this country is sleepwalking into an Orwellian nightmare.
Julian Borrett, Leeds
Text: We already know Labour don't listen to the public.
Text: Stewards - or as we call them storm troopers.
It is time this country was returned to its citizens and ceased being a playground for the Labour Party.
Would all the Labour bigwigs have apologised so profusely to Mr Wolfgang had his ejection not been caught on camera?
Victoria Fontaine-Wolf, Sandgate
Audience question: Cameron, Davis or Clarke? As the Conservatives appear to have become the party of permanent opposition, does it really matter?
Having heard Ken Clarke speak tonight on the programme, I think that he should become the next leader of the Conservative Party. It does matter who leads the party and I think that Ken will be the best man to take the party forward. He has spoken with clarity on what needs to be done and he will, if elected leader, do it. I think that young David Cameron will be a good leader for the future but at the moment the party needs good strong leadership with the all important factor of experience in Government.
Steve Fuller, Hove, East Sussex
As an Irish GP who worked as a UK GP for 7 years including during Ken Clarke's tenure as Minister for Health, may I say that despite all the criticism of the NHS I still have a high regard for UK primary care and I think the patient gets a very good deal for free. Incidentally I have always considered Ken Clarke as streets ahead of the other contenders for Conservative party leadership in terms of intellect and ideas. It just amazes me that although British people are far more tolerant than most about foreigners living in their country; they remain so anti-European, which seems to be the only reason they have chosen to bypass the most obvious leader of the Conservative party for decades... and I fear it may be too late now
Garrett Igoe, Virginia Co. Cavan Ireland
Ken Clarke, what a star. He outshone all of the panellists tonight. I wasn't sure about him until now, but as somebody who voted Tory in 97 and then LibDem in 01 and 05, I'd definitely vote for Clarke in 2009!
The only time I would ever think (and I only mean think) about voting Conservative would be with Ken Clarke as leader. He is the only one in the running for their leadership who believes in Europe and that our future is with the Union.
Neil Wotherspoon, Cumbernauld, Glasgow
Text: Ken is one of the few who appears to say what he believes. Mark, Staines
Cameron, Davis or Clarke. Mmm Diaz, Betty or Petula - who cares.
Chris Salako, London
Text: The Tories need a leader with a handbag.
Text: Lies and spin will get you in.
Text: What sort of a party votes in Iain Duncan Smith over Ken Clarke?
Text: King Ken to take on Tony.
Choice in the NHS
Audience question: When politicians say choice in the NHS do they mean privatisation?
Why are people more concerned about who cares for them rather than being seen as quick as possible for no charge. Why would you rather wait for the NHS if you can be offered care for free from the private sector? Whether the NHS or private sector provide care the bill is paid from the same pot.
Nick Taylor, Northampton
With the NHS struggling the way it is, wouldn't it be a better idea to not to waste the staff's time allowing people choice, and place the emphasis on healing people in need. The NHS is a service and should not bend itself to the lives of anybody. it is a waste of time and resources.
Jacob Colley, York
Text: Leave the NHS alone. If you had to be treated in the US, you would like our health service in any form.
Surely the long term answer to cutting the waiting lists is to increase the capacity of the NHS. All these private health care initiatives end up costing the health service more in the long run, but let the government get results faster. Looks good, but is crippling for the long term finance of the NHS, so funds that would be better spent in maintaining some degree of redundant capacity within the NHS to allow it to respond flexibly to fluctuations in demand are disappearing into the pockets of the private sector instead.
Chris Blackburn, Nottingham
Text: Sick people don't want choice they want fast local treatment.
Text: A bed for every patient is the only target we need.
Text: I can get an appointment but can't afford the car park charges.
Text: When is a choice not a choice? When you are poor.
Text: Quickest way to reduce waiting lists is to get consultants off the golf course.
Text: My local hospital is brilliant. Doctors should be praised more.
Audience question: Does anyone on the panel actually care if the ice cap melts?
The question" Does anyone care about the ice cap?" was cleverly ambivalent. It was dealt with very trivially and I thought, showed up the panel's blissful ignorance of science. For example Janet S-P apparently thought her dirty window was as or more worrying! It is well known that large areas of white (ice) absorb much less heat from the sun than does water or land. Hence the loss of ice cap area will further increase global warming, possibly catastrophically - like stopping the Gulf Stream and paradoxically leaving the British Isles sealed in ice each winter. It is unfortunate that when a science related question comes up no-one on the panel has the ability to give other than a generalised (or, in some cases bizarre!) answer.
Michael Smith, Mold, Flintshire
Everyone seems to be very quick to criticise politicians for their lack of activity regarding global warming but it would be interesting to know how many of these people are actually willing to make radical lifestyle changes themselves. I know I am certainly very ready to "pay lip service" about global warming, and get very scared and angry about the ice cap, however I rarely recycle, I leave lights on and complain about high taxes and ugly wind mills. It's not just the politicians who need to change their attitudes.
PS Not sure I like the new layout - the speakers seem to be rather squashed together!
Text: Look at what's happening in the US. They are paying for global warming, and so will everyone.
When we debate the climate question why does it appear that the actions of the UK alone will control the world's climate. It's all very noble making us pay for using fossil fuels but isn't it all a waste of time until the rest of the world does the same. Will someone please ask Mr Bush how technology will solve the effect of hurricanes? How will technology restore the polar ice cap? Are there now too many people making too many demands on the earth's resources?
Brian Melvillle, Maryport
Text: Polar bears care a lot. But they can't vote.
Does it not illustrate the politicians' impracticable approach to problems, when Patricia Hewitt says that in order to improve the environment the government places absurdly high taxes on petrol and diesel to prevent or restrict its use, when there is no alternative?
Harold, Farnham Royal, Bucks.
Text: When the politicians' and everyone else's homes start going under water, then they will care.
Text: Get Blair to tell Bush to sign up to Kyoto. Use the special relationship.
It's all these 4x4s taking their precious kids to school that pollute this atmosphere.
Why, oh why - when someone communicates a vision that is different, outside the controlled state logic, do we stand as a society and vilify? Diversity of culture and notably ideas is to be welcomed, even if we may disagree. The shameful humiliation of the Christian Voice representative, the booing of the quoting of the Bible, the mocking of his speaking on behalf of Christianity - betrays an arrogance, a fear of different thought and a disrespect that has infiltrated deep into our society. We do indeed have the rulers we deserve both in government and in religion.
Jason Potter, Ellesmere Port
The words "Christian" and "Evangelical" are being banded about these days to the detriment and embarrassment of those who profess to be such. I think Stephen Green was sadly a poor contributor but I also feel he was set up and treated badly and with characteristic pomposity.
Ken Slater (Pastor), Sandhurst, Kent
I was glad you had on your programme a man who was not afraid to let his Christian faith be heard. I hope very much you'll have him back on. We need more people who will bring a sense of morality and biblical wisdom to the media.
Philip Parsons, Stoke-on-Trent
I switched off tonight long before the end of the programme. Janet Street-Porter, irritating as ever. The man from Christian voice was thrown into a lion's den. I await the day when the BBC broadcasts a programme as offensive to Muslims, Hindus or Sikhs as Jerry Springer is to Christians. Of course I will be waiting a very long time. Shame on you BBC.
Clive Linddley, Halifax
What a pleasure to see Stephen Green on Question Time and how refreshing to hear someone prepared to stand up for what they believe in despite opposition. I find it strange that political differences are tolerated more than religious ones and thought it sad that displeasure was voiced from the audience whenever he mentioned Jesus or God. Sadder still though was the fact that so called professing Christians on the panel seemed equally happy to ridicule his strong beliefs. A. McDonald.
Avril McDonald, Halifax
As a follower of Jesus Christ I found the heckling of Steven Green disturbing. He was not, though, the most eloquent of panellists and seemed distinctly nervous. I would have hope that Mr Dimbleby would have taken the audience to task. Heckling of a godly man is not a new phenomenon but simply confirms the view that the BBC will tolerate 'Religiosity' (lets be nice and not state truth for fear of offending people) but has no time for those who take God's word seriously. BTW I am sure that a Muslim cleric would not have been allowed to be booed in the same way!
David Brattle, Belfast
Thank you Q.T. It's been many years since I've watched your programme. I'd become tired of the same old party politics along with the same old predictable question and answers. However last Thursday I made a point of watching knowing that Stephen Green would be on the panel. As I anticipated the Brighton audience were hostile to Mr Green, perhaps this was because of his stance on homosexuality, and whatever he had say was going to be shouted down by the hecklers. However there are many views of Mr Green's which are held by a sizable but unfortunately silent proportion of our population. These views are seldom aired by the BBC. May the BBC consider inviting Mr Green and his like on Q.T and other programmes such as Radio 4's Moral Maze where they can be subjected to rigorous questioning and liven up this stale debate.
Simon Stuart, Ilfracombe
What a refreshing change - an interesting and entertaining panel engaging in intelligent, good-humoured, stimulating debate. A pleasure to watch. There was a notable exception - without a single original, independent thought and seemingly as uncomfortable in his own skin as everybody else was with him.
Paul Wedgwood, York
Did you ask Stephen Green onto Question Time just to ridicule him because he fought against your awful programme Jerry Springer - The Opera? I thought you were supposed to have a cross section audience. I didn't sense there were any Christians present. Shame on you
Mr A F Wright, Truro
Mr Dimbleby used very aggressive tactics against Mr Green on tonight's show. The protests Stephen organises are not aggressive, but the legitimate right of UK citizens to protest. Isn't this the very thing people were so shocked was being stifled at the Labour conference. This is an example of double standards from BBC and other panellists. Not sure how Simon Hughes can claim to be evangelical and yet not be bothered by people's blasphemous portrayal of his God in the media.
Gareth Lewis, Cheltenham
What possessed the BBC to give airtime to Stephen Green. I am a practicing Christian and given the breadth of thinking Christians in the country including all of the major denominations, parachurch organisations such as faithworks,YMCA, etc etc I cannot for the life of me understand why a platform was given to someone whose organisation commands such little support. I would be keen to know on what basis he was given a place, as it cannot be because of the numbers he represents.
Dave Ball, Dartford
I thought the treatment of Stephen Green was a complete disgrace. Janet Street-Porter was particularly irritating. I switched off. To see a Christian figure ridiculed in such a manner made my blood boil.
Stephen Green's performance this evening only serves to demonstrate how some factions of Christian leadership are so disconnected from society, and perhaps the gospel message, they are not able to reach out to those in need. The message is LOVE.
Ash Rust, Bristol
I was utterly gob-smacked by the inane ramblings of Mr. Green from Christian Voice. Prayer won't prevent the ice caps from melting. If any more evidence is required as to why church numbers are falling, then this was a good example. If such groups are to be allowed at the debating table I look forward to a representative of the National Secular Society attending future debates. We may hear some sense for once.
M Harper, London
Although I found the gentleman from Christian Voice rather irritating, I was startled at the vehement feelings directed toward him by both panel and audience. He may have strongly felt religious views, but at least he isn't advocating bombing campaigns. Why do the British media and public seem to so despise strong forms of Christianity? Ironically, at the same time they deride mainstream Christianity for failing to engage with the times.
Christopher, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Thank you for inviting Stephen Green of Christian Voice on to your panel on Thursday. The audience jeered at most of his comments, but I'm glad he had the courage to say them. I think the audience was misplaced in this - they acted like the stewards who refused to allow a dissenting voice. Why shouldn't Christians have a right to say that something offends them and society would be better off without it? I have no doubt he would have spoken against the Iraq War too. It works both ways. Personal liberty in a free society is not an end in itself, but has to be seen in the light of what is good for our society too.
Murray, Hatfield, Herts.
Why has Question Time been given a 1970s school programme sound effect in the opening titles? Please being back the old music!
Paul Metcalfe, Westminster, London
I hope that it will be a very long time before Patricia Hewitt appears again on this programme. A more irritating, patronising person it would be difficult to find. She was like a school teacher talking to a class of very unintelligent infants.
Anne Saunders, UK
AS a lifetime labour supporter even I find Patricia Hewitt responses so long winded and waffle filled to be annoying in the extreme in what is clearly an attempt to occupy the greatest part of the programme to the exclusion of other participants whom as a democrat I am increasingly interested in hearing. DD should real her in much more quickly if she must appear again. She spoilt last night's programme.
Alastair MacIntyre, Glasgow
I enjoy watching Question Time however tonight I switched off as soon as that man from Christian Voice started. After the Springer episode, like others, we read about their views and attitudes with horror. I am really disappointed that you have given him a platform on QT.
Joe Johnson, Oxford
Patricia Hewitt is the perfect politician. She says nothing, but she says it with complete conviction.
Text: Has Patricia ever met a poor person?
In response to the message from John of Edinburgh, Patricia Hewitt has met a poor person - me. She was one of the most down-to-earth and warm person I've had the pleasure of meeting. She genuinely cares about the NHS is determined to correct the flaws within it. There are many staff within hospitals up and down the country that do an absolutely fantastic job and sometimes I feel they're not congratulated enough.
Well done Janet Street-Porter and Simon Hughes. It is about time the Christian Right learnt that they can't force their views and their vision of the world onto the population.
Jonathan Millins, Canterbury
I note the general derision that was directed at the Christian panellist. I wonder if the audience would have been quite so eager to boo and hiss at a Muslim representative? And would the BBC have shown this event without comment if it had occurred?
Ralph Ellis, Manchester
Can Janet Street-Porter please refrain from calling Christians a minority group.
Perhaps if more of our fellow citizens read the Bible and listened to the words of Jesus - as many of us do - then we would live in a fairer society, less prone to greed and war.
Lorraine Moir, Glasgow
Janet Street Porter didn't call Christians a minority - she called the group Christian Right a minority - which they are.
Anthony James, Dorchester
Text: Patricia Hewitt looks startled at everybody's points of view.
Text: Thank goodness for QT. It's the only time New Labour's failures are exposed. Broadcast earlier please.
Text: Changed my mind about Janet Street-Porter - she actually talks a lot of sense now.
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